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All six BARTÓK String Quartets performed in two evenings.
October 10: Quartets Nos. 1, 3 & 5
October 11: Quartets Nos. 2, 4 & 6
The Takács Quartet -- the sole string quartet in Gramophone Magazine's Hall of Fame -- will perform all six of Bartók's string quartets, which have been part of their repertoire since their origins in the 1970s. It was Takacs' recordings in the 1990s of these seminal works that cemented their position among the world's top quartets. What will make this event even more compelling are talks and commentary by Princeton musicologist Scott Burnham, and others. Here is Princeton professor and composer Steven Mackey's reaction to the quartets as a teenager playing electric guitar in rock bands. "Their punchy melodies, muscular rhythms, trippy atmospheres and mind-bending continuities struck me as being the most psychedelic rock music I had ever heard. Bartok ingested folk music and avant garde techniques in equal measure to make a music that tickled the viscera as well as the intellect. This music is at once quirky, playful, scary and sublime -- and well ahead of its time."
This concert will be followed by a "talk back" with the quartet, moderated by Professor Steven Mackey. This brief post-concert exchange will give audiences a chance to hear the musician's perspective on these important works. The quartet will also take quesitons from the audience.
For anyone interested in immersing themselves in this important repertoire, consider this...
THE BARTÓK STRING QUARTETS DECONSTRUCTED - a class offered in collaboration with the Princeton Adult School. Princeton University Concerts salutes the Princeton Adult School on its 75th anniversary by teaming up to give you a detailed look at musical repertoire that is rarely presented. Béla Bartók's six string quartets stand beside Beethoven's quartets as the core of the string quartet repertoire. Professor Derek Katz from the University of California, Santa Barbara, will demystify these important and compelling works and will prepare you to fully appreciate the works played live by the Takács Quartet on the opening nights of our season. For more information or to register for the class, visit princetonadultschool.org.
- professor and composer Steven Mackey on hearing the Bartók Quartets for the first time
“the most psychedelic rock music I had ever heard.”
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